Democrats pull off a surprise win in rural Wisconsin

WISCONSIN’S governor Scott Walker seemed a little frantic on the evening of January 16th. He began no fewer than eight tweets with “WAKE UP CALL”, in capital letters, after it became clear that a historically red district in a rural western region of his state had voted for a Democrat in a special election for a state senate seat. According to preliminary election returns, Patty Schachtner, a medical examiner, handily beat Adam Jarchow, a Republican member of the state assembly, by 11 percentage points.

Ms Schachtner’s victory was a surprise. She is far less experienced than Mr Jarchow and had a considerably smaller campaign chest. After her victory, Ms Schachtner explained in an interview that she thought she won because of the negative mailings from groups outside the district backing her opponent. Americans for Prosperity—the group backed by the Koch brothers, two conservative billionaires—paid for ads and mailings expressly backing Mr Jarchow. “It wasn’t nice. It was mean,” she said. “People just said, ‘You know what?...Continue reading